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What is Christian Humanism?

A few years back, I tried to start a blog to discuss some of my religious beliefs, having left organized religion behind. Life happened, and it fell by the wayside after only a handful of posts were published. My beliefs are still in a state of flux, but I think it’s worth republishing what served as my “about” page for Christian Humanism. It’s part religion, part philosophy, and it remains the context for how I interpret a lot of things of a spiritual nature. If I had to pick an existing church to identify with now, it would probably be Universal Unitarianism, but this is how I described my concept of Christian Humanism back in 2012:

People - Woman in Straw Hat

Christian Humanism

Christian Humanism does not have a singular definition or one set of accepted beliefs and practices. There are different types of people who call themselves Christian Humanists, and I can only speak for myself. The most important part of being a Christian Humanist, however, is the belief in the humanity of Jesus Christ. There is room for debate about Christ’s divinity when you are a Christian Humanist. Some may believe He is the divine Son of God, while others may be satisfied with the concept of Jesus Christ as a historical figure – an ordinary man with extraordinary ideas. Myself, I fall somewhere in between. I believe that Jesus Christ had a cosmic (divine?) understanding of the universe, but the rational part of my brain is unsure about whether or not He had actual divine powers that cannot be explained by science.

But let’s take a look at the two basic beliefs that make up Christian Humanism…

Christian

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I was contacted by an agency representing the Exergen TemporalScanner Thermometer about my interest in writing a review. I accepted the offer and received the product in the mail in just the nick of time for my family to start getting sick.

Exergen TemporalScanner Thermometer

We’d previously been using an ear thermometer because no one really liked the oral thermometers in their mouths. But TJ’s ears tend to give him a lot of trouble, and even without an earache, he can be very waxy. This could prevent us from getting an accurate temperature. With the TemporalScanner, we can take our temperatures with a forehead scan, just like they do at the doctor’s offices and at emergent care.

Exergen TemporalScanner Thermometer Features

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I’m not really sure who remembers that I was on Anderson Cooper’s show in March 2013 for a segment about moms who take anxiety medication. There was a clear bias in the way the subject was handled, but I wrote a companion piece to further explore what I talked about on the show, a post I called You Will Not Shame Me – The Stigma of Mental Illness and Prescription Drugs. As it is April 2015 now, two years has passed since I appeared on Anderson Live, and I’ve had countless people thank me for talking openly about my mental illness because it made them feel like they weren’t alone.

So imagine my surprise when I was checking my blog stats the other day and found this comment pending, two years later:

Hateful Comment

I had to shrink the image because it was quite wide, so here is an exact transcription:

i would love to try to see you hurt my sister she knows what she is talking about drugs do not make you a better parent you are a stupid woman and you probably sleep all day because of your drugs. You don’t have the slitest clue what goes on because you are to busy passing on because you are on Xanax moron my sister totally won the argue men on this show.

I have a few things I would like to say to Sammy Morgan, the brother of the woman who verbally attacked me on national television.

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A Bubble in Space Just for My Son and Me

I’m hesitant to write about this because of the sensitivity of the subject, but that also feels like a very good reason to do it anyways.

One of the most heartbreaking things you can experience as a parent is hearing your child say he wants to die. 

Our Bubble in Space

The school psychologist called me at home a few weeks ago to let me know my son’s teacher contacted her after he stated in class that he just wants to die. This blindsided me, because I’d just spoken to my husband about how well their class “friendship breakfast” went that same morning, because he helped prepare breakfast for the kids before he went to work. The psychologist already had a relationship with my son, as he sees her weekly for Lunch Bunch and stays to speak with her individually afterward, so she was able to make an informed assessment of his mental state.

She assured me that she did not feel that he was actively suicidal, that he used those words because he didn’t have any other way to express his intense frustration at a situation involving a classmate. She went through the official motions of asking him if he had a plan, which he didn’t, but after thinking for a few moments, he created a highly improbable scenario for her based on her request. His Asperger’s makes him take such questions as literal requests for information in addition to making it difficult to express his feelings and/or put them into words. [click to continue…]

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Our 2015 NYS Common Core Testing Refusal Letter

Last year was the first year we even had to consider refusing the New York State exams for grades 3-8. The “opt out” movement is gaining more traction, although “opt out” is not the phrasing you want to use with your school – you want to be clear that you and your child are refusing the tests.

Choose to Refuse

I am sharing my letter below for those who are searching for a sample test refusal letter, which I based on this refusal letter template. You will need to edit it to include your personal information, and perhaps change any “he” to “she” if you have a daughter. The paragraph I’ve put in italics is specific to my son’s situation, and this would be an appropriate place for you to personalize your letter, too.
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Here’s the thing about the “autism advocacy” organization known as Autism Speaks – it doesn’t advocate for people with autism. In fact, if it’s said to advocate for anyone, it would be for overwrought parents of autistic children. In fact, they’ve promoted a video sympathizing with a mother who says – with her autistic daughter in the room – that she considered driving herself and her daughter off the George Washington bridge because of the enormous burden of it all. The only reason she didn’t carry out the murder-suicide was because she worried about how it would affect her non-autistic daughter. Let me repeat: the mother said this, with the daughter she wanted to kill within earshot, for a camera crew representing an organization that purports itself to advocate for autism awareness. I will not link to this video because I do not want it to get more views.

Here’s the thing…I am autistic – Asperger’s, to get most specific – and I don’t want the type of “awareness” they’re advocating.

By hobvias sudoneighm (Flickr: /doh) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What Autism Speaks Actually Advocates

Aside from sympathizing with parents who want to murder their autistic children, Autism Speaks has even more despicable things hiding in its wings.

Eugenics

Don’t get caught up in their PR spin: when Autism Speaks talks about all of the money they’re pouring into finding a “cure” for autism, what they’re really saying is that autistic people need to be selected out of the gene pool. There is no cure for autism. Once you’re born with it, it’s part of who you are. If someone could wave a magic wand and make me neurotypical (NT) – not an Aspie anymore – I would no longer be the same person. My personality would be different. My habits and affectations would be different. Maybe I would magically gain the power the navigate social situations the way most people do, but would I lose my natural empathy? Would I still be as intelligent as I am? Would I lose the ability to perform my job well because spelling and grammar errors no longer jump out at me as Things That Should Not Be? [click to continue…]

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Halestorm Rocks | Fandom Friday

After more than a decade of loving mainly all-male bands, I was introduced to Halestorm a few years ago. I’d never really been the hard rock/heavy metal type, but I connected almost immediately with the band fronted by charismatic Lzzy Hale. Halestorm, which is made up of Lzzy, her brother Arejay Hale, Joe Hottinger, and Josh Smith, has been likened to Evanescence. Both are female-fronted rock bands with male instrumentalists, and both Lzzy Hale and Amy Lee are talented vocalists and songwriters with large ranges.

Halestorm - Mz Hyde

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Asperger’s and Scripted Language, aka Bless Me When I Sneeze!

Social expectations don’t usually come naturally when you have Asperger’s. But Aspies like me also tend to live in a world guided by rules, both self-imposed and otherwise. One of the first things most children are taught is how to be polite to others, like saying please, thank you, and you’re welcome. You say excuse me when you have gas, and you reply certainly when someone else excuses themselves.

And you say bless you when someone sneezes.

If I Sneeze, Bless Me!

I get excessively agitated if someone doesn’t say, “Bless you!” when I sneeze. It’s worse when both my husband and my son fail to do so, and I will clear my throat and point out that I just sneezed. I’m sure it irritates Tom when I do this, but he blesses me after the fact.

It’s not that I’m superstitious about evil spirits, or whatever it is that started people saying, “God bless you!” in the first place. It’s that I was taught that you always bless someone when you sneeze. It’s just what you do. Every time.

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Getting Back to Being Me in 2015

To say that 2014 was a bad year for me is a bit of an understatement. Losing my dad to cancer was a blow I still haven’t recovered from. I know I’ll never “get over” it, but I just haven’t been myself in the haze of my grief. And I realize now that I didn’t start grieving when he died in June. I’d started actively grieving last January. Consciously, I still believed he would recover, that he would beat the odds, that mantle cell lymphoma would not be the death sentence that all of the research said it was.

Grief is the price we pay for love.

But my subconscious knew, and my behavior became more erratic, more out of control. I was an emotional wreck. I was needy and made bad decisions. And I missed a lot of time with my dad, knowing he was too sick for visits, but assuming we’d have time to play catch up when he got better. I never got to do the “interviews” he wanted to do with me so we could get his mantle cell lymphoma blog up and running. The blog never happened. And I wish I’d just gone to sit with him even though he didn’t want us to see him “that way.”

Going Numb

After he died, my brain did something completely different than the series of meltdowns I’d been having out of anxiety over his failing health. It went numb after my tears had run dry. Not just in the emotional sense, but cognitively. I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t focus. Being left alone with my thoughts was generally a bad idea, because then I could end up having a panic attack that escalated into a full meltdown where the tears would pour out and I was completely inconsolable. The novel I’d started writing got abandoned because I simply couldn’t get words down. Client work was difficult, but it didn’t really suffer. Once I sat myself down and forced myself to work, editing nonfiction was a fairly straightforward task. It was trying to do anything remotely creative that was nigh on impossible.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2014 – For Him, For Her, For the Kids

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but retailers both online and offline are running deals throughout December! Many brands contacted me about reviewing their products for the holiday season, but I only agreed to work with the few who resonated most with me and my family. There are a few other things I purchased myself that I think are worth including here, too, and I’ll make sure you know which is which. Here’s what’s on my holiday gift list this year:

Mantry

Mantry Crates

Mantry, “the modern man’s pantry,” is a monthly American food subscription service introduced to me by team member Reggie, who offered to send me a crate to try. Tom loves food and loves to cook, so I was happy to accept the offer. He couldn’t have been happier with the Campfire Cookout box: sausage, bacon – what’s not to love? Other box themes have been seafood, coffee, and craft beer. If you know a man who loves to cook, a Mantry subscription might be a good call. Of course, in the interest of equality, I don’t think you have to be a man to appreciate the monthly food selections. [click to continue…]

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Disclosure Policy

For questions about this blog, please contact Christina Gleason (twilightsun at gmail dot com). This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, affiliate revenue, or other forms of compensation. This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. Compensated content, advertising space or posts will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.